An Ancient Recipe for Blackcurrant Chutney

Evening kitchen at Bealtaine CottageFinally, finally coming to the bottom of the freezer and the last of last years Blackcurrants…so many of them…over 150lbs!

I have eaten Blackcurrants every day since last summer.

kitchen at Bealtaine CottageI have a very simple meal that I make with them…raw food vegan!

It’s simply putting a handful of sunflower seeds in the blender with 3 or 4 big handfuls of organic oats.

Blend.

Add soya or other vegan milk, or dairy if that’s your choice.

Blend.

Add 1/4 lb of frozen Blackcurrants and some Maple Syrup to taste.

Blend.

The result is a cross between an ice cream and a smoothie…spoon it out and enjoy!

Blackcurrant ChutneyThis evening I have made four pound pots of delicious Blackcurrant Chutney. Blackcurrant ChutneyThe recipe is quite ancient…passed down to me from someone very close.

The taste of this chutney is unique and delicious and not to be compared to any other!

Here’s the recipe…

1 lb Blackcurrants

 1 lb moist brown sugar

1/4 lb chopped seedless raisins

1oz crushed mustard seeds

1oz chopped onion

1/2 oz  ground ginger

1 heaped teaspoon salt

1/2 pint distilled white vinegar

Cover the currants with the vinegar, and cook them gently until they are tender.

Let them cool, then mix in all the other ingredients.

Stir well together, boil up for about ten minutes, and bottle and cover tightly when cold.

Lysimachia Punctata on the table in the kitchenMost delicious and you can adjust the ingredients to taste and to suit…not too much though!

This recipe was handed down from my great grandmother, Mary Ann Higgins-Baxter, who grew masses of Blackcurrants on her small farm on the Derry Road in Omagh, County Tyrone.

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureThis was the thatched cottage owned by my great grandmother.

bealtainecottage.com (9)It was recommended by Mary Ann that the Blackcurrant Chutney be served with Goats Cheese, which she made herself from the many goats she kept and milked.

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Replacing Fear and Hopelessness with Fearlessness and Joy.

washing on the line at Bealtaine Cottage

The washing is on the line, as there’s a great breeze between the light showers and sunshine.

There is no washing machine or tumble drier here at Bealtaine Cottage, so a little barter or exchange takes place when the washing basket is full…which happens when I’m too busy to wash laundry daily.

A good friend did 3 loads of washing in exchange for a few kilos of blackcurrants from the freezer.

Jam making is under way at her house!

Blackcurrants in the freezer at Bealtaine CottageFrozen blackcurrants make a better tasting jam, as the enzymes have already begun to break down the sugars in the fruit.

recycling fish boxes for seed grwoing in the tunnel at Bealtaine CottageThe same friend brought me a stack of polystyrene fish boxes, that were to be thrown away at the market.

These make excellent seed boxes as you can see in the tunnel today, I have been busy sowing seeds and potting on.

Seed growing in the polytunnel in late April at Bealtaine CottageI lay the boxes on the soil as the warm earth will keep an ambient temperature over-night.

Plants and pots are packed into every available space in the tunnel today.

permaculture at Bealtaine cottage

People are angry with the governments who refuse to listen!

A petition was presented to the UK government recently, highlighting the concerns we all have for the health of bees.

It was ignored.

Governments are there to serve us.

The politicians are our servants.

They need to be reminded!Bees are the workforce of Mother Nature!

 

Buddha at Bealtaine Cottage Ireland

Aquilegia, Valerian and pot lilies surround Buddha in the potager beds today.

I will leave you with these wise words from Dr Vandana Shiva, my inspiration…

“[How do I do it?] Well, it’s always a mystery, because you don’t know why you get depleted or recharged. But this much I know. I do not allow myself to be overcome by hopelessness, no matter how tough the situation. I believe that if you just do your little bit without thinking of the bigness of what you stand against, if you turn to the enlargement of your own capacities, just that itself creates new potential. And I’ve learned from the Bhagavad-Gita and other teachings of our culture to detach myself from the results of what I do, because those are not in my hands. The context is not in your control, but your commitment is yours to make, and you can make the deepest commitment with a total detachment about where it will take you. You want it to lead to a better world, and you shape your actions and take full responsibility for them, but then you have detachment. And that combination of deep passion and deep detachment allows me to take on the next challenge, because I don’t cripple myself, I don’t tie myself in knots. I function like a free being. I think getting that freedom is a social duty because I think we owe it to each not to burden each other with prescription and demands. I think what we owe each other is a celebration of life and to replace fear and hopelessness with fearlessness and joy.” ― Vandana Shiva